Panel chief: Oil rig mistakes 'ghastly'
Tuesday, November 09, 2021 1:08 PM

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William Reilly, co-chair of the panel and Bush administration Environmental Protection Agency administrator, made the comments during the second day of hearings by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

"Presentations and examinations yesterday uncovered a suite of bad decisions," Reilly said. "Failed cement tests, premature removal of muds underbalancing the well, a negative pressure test that failed but was judged a success, apparent inattention, distraction or misreading of a key indicator that gas was rising toward the rig."

Reilly said his team did not ascribe motives and there was no evidence bad decisions were made for mercenary reasons. Investigators "didn't rule out cost," Reilly said, "just said they weren't prepared to attribute mercenary motives to men who made -- who cannot speak for themselves, because they are not alive."

Eleven workers on the rig were killed when it exploded April 20. It took nearly three months to cap the oil spill at the gulf's floor, about a mile underwater.

"But the story they told is ghastly, one bad call after another," Reilly said. "Whatever else we learned and saw yesterday is emphatically not the culture of safety on that rig."

"Speaking for myself, all three companies we heard from displayed" a culture of complacency, Reilly said. "And to me, the fact that each company is responsible for one or more egregiously bad decisions, we're closing in on the answer to the question I posed at the outset of yesterday's (Monday's) hearing, and that is whether the Horizon Macondo disaster was a unique event, the result of some special challenges and particular circumstances, or indicates something larger, a systemic problem in the oil and gas industry.

"BP, Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and Transocean are major respected companies operating throughout the gulf," he said. "And the evidence is that they are in need of top-to-bottom reform."

(Source: UPI )
(Source: Quotemedia)
 

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